D12 rapper and longtime friend of Eminem, Proof, was shot and killed this morning at a Detroit club called 3C, located on the city’s famed Eight Mile. Proof, born Deshaun Holton, was announced dead on arrival at Conner Creek Medical Center just after 5 a.m. He was thirty-two years old.
Police were called to the scene in early this morning after reports of gunfire and fighting at the venue, which was operating illegally after-hours. Another unidentified, thirty-five-year-old man was also shot, and is listed in critical condition. An investigation into the incident is underway.
Proof was among the most revered MCs in Detroit and befriended fellow Motor City rapper Eminem before joining Em’s rap troupe D12. Proof went on to make a brief appearance in Em’s hit biopic, 8 Mile, and was ever-present in the courtroom in 2001, when Eminem was battling gun charges. Proof also served as the best man at the superstar rapper’s wedding to his on-and-off love Kim Mathers last January.
“Me and Eminem have wonderful chemistry, and we have wonderful songs,” the rapper told Rolling Stone last summer while on the all-star hip-hop Anger Management 3 tour.
This is the second shooting involving a member of Eminem’s entourage in three months: Rapper Obie Trice was shot and injured on New Year’s Eve while driving on Detroit’s Lodge Freeway.
Early last year, Eminem released a video for “Like Toy Soldiers,” off his last studio album, 2004’s Encore, that slammed violence in the hip-hop community. In the clip, Proof is shot, and Eminem sits in the hospital waiting room as doctors try to revive his friend.
Proof released his solo debut, Searching for Jerry Garcia, last summer on his independent label Iron Fist Records. “It’s a long time coming,” he said. “I’m very nervous because of the perception of the group we run with — there’s a lot of pressure.”
Memorial service arrangements for Proof are still being made.